Falconry has always reflected the life and times of the period in history. From starting as a way of catching food to eat, it later became a courtly and noble accomplishment. It was almost wiped out, along with wild raptors, by the advent of firearms and the quest to produce ever-increasing numbers of game for shooting. In the 20th Century, pesticides decimated populations of birds of prey in the wild, which paradoxically led to a massive regeneration of the sport, and indeed raptor numbers in the wild, through public interest and captive breeding. Falconry has continued in Britain for close to 1500 years, with an unbroken line of falconers from the 6th or 7th century to today. Of all the true field sports, it rightly enjoys the highest reputation in the eyes of the general public.
Falconry has always been an important part of Living Heritage Country Shows, and we are excited in 2020 to be presenting an exciting and informative Falconry Village under the leadership of Ben Long Falconry.
In our large falconry marquee we will be holding demonstrations on how to fly a number of suitable species: owls, hawks and small falcons included. You may also have the opportunity to fly a bird yourself, so bring the camera for a excellent photo opportunity! We will also be offering workshops on handling certain birds, tying falconers’ knots, and learning about the various species and their purposes in falconry, natural history, training etc.
We will also have a static display of raptors, each one with information about the species and a number of enthusiastic experts on hand to answer all your questions.
Explore our exhibition of falconry related objects and pictures; occasional equipment-making demonstrations and a few surprises too!
Our outdoor demonstrations will take place in a number of the different arenas and will demonstrate the hunting birds at work, with training techniques and a wealth of interesting information. We also have an incredible display of falconry through the ages: watch how the lure was used in Medieval times; see an incredible demonstration of side-saddle hawking from Tudor times and enjoy the spellbinding sight of horses, humans, dogs and and birds working together.
Then coming right up to date, we have the very latest in falconry technology with our robocrow. Robocrow is sent up, closely followed by one of the falcons and you can watch the hunt as he is hunted down and eventually captured. As the hunt progresses you will be able to track the speed and height that it’s all happening at. A stunning and truly unique demonstration and one not to be missed.
Further falconry demonstrations give you the opportunity to fly one of these amazing birds yourself. Definitely not to be missed and a very exciting part of the Living Heritage Events in 2020.